Water at Squaw Valley’s Upper Mountain now safe to drink, officials say
As of late Thursday morning, Squaw Valley’s Elevation 8200’ Water Company system is back in business.
Placer County Director of Environmental Health Wesley Nicks said a letter was issued to the resort on Dec. 22 stating that all “Non-Potable Water” signs may now be removed.
The water system, which serves the Upper Mountain area of the resort, had been deemed not-safe-for-drinking since early November when county officials learned of a contamination including E. coli and other coliform bacteria.
Treatment efforts were underway when Upper Mountain opened to resort guests on Nov. 29. Only prepackaged food and water were served, as mandated by the county.
After other efforts to treat the water failed, Squaw Valley installed its own filter and chlorination system.
“An inspection of the treatment equipment installed at the 8200’ water system by representatives of this office and the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, was completed on December 21, 2016,” according to the letter sent from the county to Squaw Valley Thursday morning. “With the new treatment system in place, the water system is capable of providing water to the public that is pure, wholesome, potable, and in compliance with statutory and regulatory drinking water requirements.”
Nicks said in an email to the Sierra Sun the letter was sent after he was advised by his staff and the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water that “the system is now in full compliance with the requirements and the water in the systems has been verified to be free of contaminants.”
As for when normal operations will resume, Squaw Valley Public Relations Director Liesl Kenney said there will be plenty of options for resort guests at High Camp and Gold Coast on Friday, Dec. 23.
“As far as things go right now, the real goal is just getting back to normal operations and having clean drinking water for our guests,” she said.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Kenney said the resort plans to have the Arc at Gold Coast food court opened Friday and is working on getting Funis Mountaintop Café and Starbucks opened as soon as possible.
Kenney added, “Installing a water treatment facility is no easy feat … it has been a really impressive return to operations that we’ve had and the fact that we’ll be fully operational for the holidays is really a great victory.”